Forget the carseat

Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl
We're just gonna let her drive.


Back At Ya
So, last Christmas my mom canceled their trip out here because she wasn't feeling well. Of course I don't begrudge her that one bit, but I'm still a little miffed that they chose to call me at 2:30 am to tell me about their change in plans.

Many words were had about this and I think in the end they understood why that calling people with a young baby in the middle of the night was a Really Bad Idea. That I had to explain this at all, even now, seems so odd to me but whatever.

Along with this, I talk to my mom at least 4 times a week, around the same time every day. Should I vary that time by more than a few hours, she gets antsy and starts calling, wondering if everything's okay, i.e. was Val in the hospital for some reason and she not told???

Can you see where this is going?

Anyhoo, last night around 11 pm we decided to take Val to the ER for her arm. That's 11 pm PDT, or 2 am EDT.

Yep, I called my mom to let her know that Val was headed to the hospital. And then later, when we got home, I called her again. Of course, being the adoring Grandma, she didn't mind and probably would have kicked my ass if I had just told her later.

Why I Think Of This Now
I have no idea. But when I graduated high school, I remember our esteemed class president making a speech about how we were about to be scattered to the far winds. He said something about how this is it, the last time we'll all be together like this. And for a second, my throat caught and I was like, OMG you're right. That's so sad. My whole world is about to change and I can do nothing to stop it.

And then, not a split second later, I got this big-ass grin on my face and realized that yep, my whole world is about to change.

This is not to say that I had a horrid high school experience, I didn't. It sure as shit wasn't my glory years the way it was for some folks, but it wasn't bad. I just knew I was done with being there and being part of that life.

Somewhere in my head, I knew that I couldn't come out until I left. I think that grin was an acknowledgment of my upcoming freedom in the world and even though I did have one more boyfriend after that, I was really starting to get it. Within a year, that boyfriend and I had broken up and I'd started attending some (rather painful, stilted and awkward) meetings of the GLB* club on campus and trying to figure out how the hell you meet girls. That part, I never really did figure out.

I was not supposed to stay there and live the life I'd been living. It took me a few years to really get away but I could not be any happier that I finally did.

* Back then, we weren't GLBTQII, we were just Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual. And even the Bi was something of a concession for some folks.**

** But not me, I was grateful to meet any girl I had even half a chance with.

Our First ER Visit
Last night, Val was watching Andrea and Soosan's first red game of the season (which was also Soosan's first red game ever -- she did GREAT!!!). Val was running around on the bleachers, going up and down stairs, eating goldfish crackers, admiring Cody, running around, going up and down the stairs, running on the bleachers, etc. Even though I was guarding her while she ran on the bleachers, she managed to run ahead of me for a split second. And launch herself off the bleachers onto the ground, apparently knocking her elbow out of joint in the process.

Of course I wasn't paying attention to *that,* I was noticing the head bonk she'd gotten at the end of the slow-motion fall. And the fact that she had the silent cry, filled with gulps of air as she geared up for a very loud crying jag that did go on longer than I would have expected.

But, she went back to checking out the goldfish, talking to Cody and sort of watching the game so I thought all was well.

Apparently it wasn't -- as we had dinner (sans Paulus) she started crying and kept crying. She just wanted Soosan to hold her, she wasn't even very into her funny face pancake. After dinner Soosan checked her out a little and said ya know, you should probably take her to the ER.

I did my best not to panic. Arms/shoulders/limbs, they can be fixed. But still, my baby girl was going to the hospital instead of just home to a bottle and bed.

They ushered us right into the exam room (it was probably only 15 minutes between our arrival and Val being seen by a resident, and in that 15 minutes we hung out in a waiting room that included one of Val's favorite toys -- the Little People Farm!! complete with peacock!) and first a nurse took a look, then in came the resident. He was really nice and apparently in the process of his exam, he popped her errant elbow back into it's place.

When the ass of a 'real' doctor came in, he kept calling Val a 'he,' then after we corrected him a bunch of times, just went with 'it.' He didn't speak to us, really, just talked to the resident while examining Val.

Yes, yes. Were this a more involved deal, were she not already miraculously cured, my ass would have had many many more things to say to Dr. Boob. But we were lucky this time so I figured it was okay to let his Boob-ness go.

He signed off and all we had to do was wait for discharge. That took an hour after he left. An hour. So we could leave. Again, yes, I'd rather spend that hour with a kid who'd been cured than waiting to be seen, but still, the end result was us leaving at 1 am.

But she's okay. As a side note, they gave us no shit about being two moms, even though they were confused as hell since Soosan upped the number of adult women present to 3. They asked no stupid questions about who was the parent or anything, just some confusion on the part of the paperwork lady because my name isn't listed on Val's insurance card. She kept asking what Valerie's date of birth was and I couldn't figure out why.

But all is well. We went home, she talked to her books a bit, said goodnight to them (a very loud BYE!) had her bottle and went to bed. She's still asleep now.


Gee, Thanks
1. My MRI (yes, I finally bit the bullet and did an open one a few weeks ago. It was no picnic but not as bad as the original tomb-like one I'd attempted back in 2004 or whenever that was) results came in. According to the MRI, my shoulder is normal.

That's just awesome. My doc, who I've decided I don't actually like, hardly listened to me, suggested doing a scope (not the mouthwash, apparently) or maybe cortisone, or maybe just, well, nothing. Before I could really reply, she left the room. Thanks for listening, really.

So I guess I do nothing, keep trying to maximize the days off between games, ice when necessary, etc. repeat. And switch docs if the pain gets unbearable again.

2. All last week, I worked my ass off on a project that was supposed to go live tomorrow. My part is all done, I'm just waiting on info from some other folks. EVERY DAY LAST WEEK I wrote to these people asking for the info. No response.

Today I get in to completely unintelligible voicemails from both of those people and an email from one of them saying they can't do it.

Great, glad I wasted my time stressing about this stupid project.

3. One other work thing that I can't explain without giving too much detail for my comfort level.

The only upside to these three things is that it's enabled me to spend a lot of the day complaining about these issues rather than working on my other projects. Since I am 100% in the mood to bitch, it's working out great.

Sheer Genius
This phony phone call gets me every damn time. This lovely video that someone put together is also pretty special, but it can't beat the phone call.

What I've Been Up To
Uploading videos from the past. They're all short and stuff, but kinda cute.


What I Remember
Right after Val was born, I was a wreck. That first day, when I couldn't get up, it almost didn't matter because I was just tired and pumped full of drugs. I just felt tired, just wanted to sleep even though I really wanted to look at my lovely new daughter.

But the second day, I woke up and felt like total shit. Everything hurt, in ways I'd never experienced. Gravity did funny things, once I finally stood up. That first morning a team of nice nurses helped me up, out of bed, cleaned up after me and helped me to the bathroom. I'm pretty sure they stayed in there with me, I just can't remember. Which is probably good because I'd be annoyed if that had happened. Even if I can't remember it.

Later that day, I made some solo trips. Those bathroom visits were the first time I was truly alone in 4 days (unless you count the nurses who kept asking if I'd played a little pants tuba in there and if you don't count the Worst Nurse Ever, who loitered outside the door reminding me not to strain. GOT IT, thanks.) While I was in there, I didn't even think about it, I just started picking my nose.

Eventually I realized what I was doing and snagged a tissue. But it was sort of funny anyway.

Later on that first day I got up, I took a shower. I say this like it was a simple affair, but it wasn't. I was still hooked up to some shit, I wasn't real stable and oh yeah, I totally smelled bad. But when I'd packed my hospital bag (filled with things I didn't use, save my hairbrush and toothbrush) I'd thrown in this little set of bath gels I'd won in this raffle at the horrible tourney we'd gone to in Denver.

That little set of gels was like the best thing ever. To have some nice-smelling stuff in little, easy to hold bottles was sheer bliss.

Another random thing. One Christmas, things were not great for me but my parents knew nothing about it. At the same time, my brother had some shit going on that caused the parental focus to shift his way. Makes sense, since I hadn't let on about my own drama. But I was certainly feeling forced into the holidays that year. The parents came out for the holidays, I was out shopping with my mom and saw some red bowls I thought Andrea would like. So I suggested that my mom get them. She asked who she should get them for and I felt so alone having to spell it out. And even more so when I got this loaded 'oh'.

She bought the bowls, I made Val some Mac n Cheese in one of them tonight.

I feel obligated to say that 1. I never let on about the drama that surrounded me that Christmas so they had no reason to suspect I needed any extra support or anything and 2. I'm pretty sure that my mom had already bought something for Andrea already. I'm just talking about that one moment (well, a whole visit) where I felt so alone.


Zeus' Excitement, And My Big Fun
We got back from Orlando late Wednesday night to find out that after finishing his dinner early, Zeus decided to check out Rainie's dish. And Rainie decided to go after him, ripping the shit out of his ear. Of course she not only ripped open his ear, she nicked an artery. So he bled everywhere and we couldn't get it to stop.

All I wanted was to eat and go to bed. But that had to wait, so we lugged Val and Zeus down to the doggie ER closest to our house. 3 hours and $500 later, they finished minor surgery on him and we were on our way home.

Now he's sporting a cone and doing his best to get around. Not that he's learned his lesson about messing with Rainie.

And now for my big fun. Yesterday, my all-time favorite, most excellent D pair returned to hockey after having her baby. I was soooo ridiculously happy to see her and playing with her was still just magic. I'm still giddy thinking about it.


The Trip Report
Thursday, Sept 6, we got up at the crack of dawn and headed to the airport for our excellent journey to Orlando. For once, everything went smoothly with our flights and we arrived on time. Thanks to my research, we rented our car from the in-terminal Dollar rental place and saved ourselves another 30+ minutes over using an offsite location. Never mind the shuttle ride without a carseat.

By 6:40, we had the carseat installed and were on our way to the parks. We had an 8:15 pm reservation at Ohana and on a whim, I called to see if we could get in any earlier. Nope, they were packed so we drove to the TTC and parked. We took the monorail into the Magic Kingdom, where we had just enough time to show Val the castle and ride Buzz Lightyear once.

It cost $2 to add that extra day onto our tickets. That was so worth $2!

We headed back out of the park and hopped onto the monorail to the Polynesian. This time, Val and I got to ride in the front car! She ate her first co-pilots license but enjoyed the ride very much.

Ohana was indeed packed, but we got seated pretty quickly. Our server was very nice and the food arrived at a decent pace. It tasted just as good as I'd remembered! After dinner, our server brought out dessert, which included the secret cake I'd ordered to celebrate our 11th anniversary:

Andrea was totally surprised when it arrived and I was so touched that I got a little teary. Val was passed out and missed the moment.

After dinner, we walked from the Polynesian to our car at the TTC. I just took in everything -- finally, after 6 months of planning, we were there! Ahhh. Disney bliss.

We got totally lost driving to our resort, WorldQuest, but once we got there it was amazing. The place was huge, clean, was well-stocked and had a great pool we couldn't wait to try. But first, we had to hit the sack because the next day had us in the Magic Kingdom at 8:05 am!

Day 2
We got up early and headed to the TTC and again onto the monorail. We made it to the Crystal Palace a bit late, but they seated us anyway, thus starting a trend of being a little late for our reservations. The meal was just great and the atmosphere and view are hard to beat. Eating breakfast in view of the castle on your first full day in Disneyworld is about the coolest thing ever.

Val enjoyed herself, and especially the flags they handed out to all the kids for the parade. She skipped the parade but hung on to her flag for quite some time.

After breakfast, we headed out into the now-open Magic Kingdom. We saw the Main Street Singers:

and then headed to Fantasyland. We went on Dumbo, Peter Pan, It's a Small World, Pooh and something I'm forgetting. Pretty much all of Fantasyland before the crowds got big at all.

After Fantasyland, we headed out toward Pirates but decided to go for Splash Mountain instead. E and Andrea went on the ride first while I hung out with Val in this conveniently-located playground just outside the entrance.

Then they returned and E watched Val while I rode with Andrea. Man, I love that ride! And the WDW version is better than Disneyland's. I hardly got wet but loved every minute of it.

At that point, it was time to head back to the Polynesian for our lunch at the Kona Cafe. We'd never eaten there but I'd heard great things about it. We were once again late for our ADR and unlike the Crystal Palace, they kind of gave us a hard time about being late even though the place was half full. Val was sleeping hard in her stroller so we wanted to bring that in with us. They acted like that was absolutely unheard of, completely perplexing. It took a few minutes and a lot of people moving chairs around to get us and the stroller seated.

So I wasn't too impressed from the start. The food was Asian-themed and nothing special compared to what we could eat everyday at home. Maybe if we lived somewhere where there wasn't a lot of good Asian food, it would have been something special. But for us, it was a okay, we've eaten there, now we don't have to do ti again kind of thing.

The rain started while we were eating. That, and our exhaustion made us re-think heading back to the park for the afternoon. So we went back to the resort, hung around and swam in the giant pool we had all to ourselves.

We headed back to the Poly for dinner -- this time it was the Spirit of Aloha Luau. I'd called on a whim just two weeks before and found that we could get front row seating. So off to the luau we went!

There were guys in skirts:

and a guy who danced with fire:

We all enjoyed it except Val. It turns out that she was just starting to work on a pretty bad case of constipation and she was not having any part of sitting at the table. So I ended up walking around outside with her, then Andrea came and we switched off. It was another 'we've done that once and we don't need to do it again' kind of thing. Neat, but once was plenty!

Since there were still a couple of hours until Epcot closed, we headed over there and checked out the new Nemo ride while Val slept and we carried her. It was pretty neat, even the second time after Val woke up!

This time, we made it back to the hotel without getting lost so we took that as a great victory.

Day 3
We slept in, then headed to Epcot in time for our lunch at the Biergarten. I enjoyed the best of the wurst (har har) but once again, Val wasn't so happy. The entertainment was great fun -- an oompa band that featured the fastest bell-ringer in all the world -- in all of Disney World!

After lunch, we strolled around the different countries in Epcot until it rained while we were in the Norway ride. We took shelter at this little cafe, which beat the heck out of the day we spent in the bat house during the rain on our last trip. Between the drops, we took turns going on the Mexico ride, which had been redone since our last trip. It was fun and finally the rain stopped, Val woke up and we all headed onward!

(more later, I'm getting tired)


Luau bound!

Luau bound!
Originally uploaded by liz2d2
We had a fantastic time, more later. But we're back!


This Will Be The Short Version
Last weekend, the drunk relative of a friend of ours, let's call him Bob since that's not his real name but it's a lot easier to say than drunk relative... Anyhoo, Bob was hanging out with his beer and some song came on that he wasn't fond of.

'That's a fag song,' he said. Of course I heard it and of course I said something to him.

Not two damn minutes later Bob said another song was queer. Great, thanks Bob. So again, and with more force, I said something about that not being okay.

Later, in his boozy haze, he came to me and apologized, though he revealed that he wasn't sure why he was doing so. I asked him if he wanted to know, he said yes, so here it was:

"The stuff you said, about things being 'fag' and 'queer,' that language offended me. Because even though you're quite drunk, I'm still gay and I still heard you. My daughter is here and I don't want her to think for one second that we're okay with having people talk that way around her."

Now, Bob, he's someone we know. And we were with a lot of people we knew so I felt all empowered to say something to him. Because I was pretty confident that if I didn't, someone else would. Were we out around a lot of angry strangers, I'd likely choose safety over making a point. But this time we weren't, and to Bob I went with some words.

But I theorize that whatever you say when you're drunk, it's what you're thinking anyway. I'm just glad I was there to hear it and in a position where I could say something to Bob.


And A Surprise
Ever since I got my Sirius radio installed in my car, Andrea's been a little jealous. She's made a shitload of excuses about why she wouldn't want it, or how it's really not all that cool, but I think that was because she knew she'd never buy it for herself.

So I got to thinking. I called Sirius to see if there was a deal I could get on a radio. Once again, my 50/50 luck held true: every other time I call them I get an idiot. So I hung up and called back and got the mostly smart guy, who found me a deal. Radio was on it's way, shipped discreetly to Susan's house.

So I got to figuring out how to get the thing installed without Andrea finding out. Eventually I did what I loathe: I lied to her. Said Zeus needed to go to the vet, could I take her car?

I set up an appointment with a 'professional' installation place where I could use the free install card Sirius had sent me. Figured I'd save a little cash and since it would be me and Val waiting, an appointment would be just damn dandy. In and out in an hour or so.

Yeah, I'm funny. In short, those guys were idiots (lemme know if you want their name, so you can avoid them) and not only did they make it look like shit, it didn't work!

3 hours later, I left with a working radio that looked a little better. When I got home, I noticed that they'd just plugged it into the ac adapter that was wired to the battery -- so it would stay on, draining the battery all the time. I go to move it to the adapter that's not wired that way and the adapter falls apart as Andrea is rolling up into the driveway.


In the end, we took it to Circuit City and they hard-wired it. Andrea now has bitchin' radio and I have pulled off an excellent birthday surprise. Go me! And happy birthday to one Andreatan.

This Would Have Been A Little Better
To the nice people who organize the tournament team I tried out for: it would have been a lot kinder if you'd sent the email saying who is actually on the team BEFORE sending the evite to your first practice. Because, see, when I got the evite, I mistakenly thought you wanted me on your team and got a little excited.

And then I read the evite, where it talks about 'guest' players and got confused. The next morning, when I got the email with a roster that didn't have my name on it, I got the whole picture. And was sort of sad.